PokerUpdate can reveal iPoker’s intention to update games on their skins, which includes new tournament formats and changes to existing games.
iPoker will be introducing the late-registration feature on all multi-table tournaments, starting March 1st. The length of time for late registration will increase depending on the speed of the tournament.
Speed/Rocket and Turbo formats will receive late registration times of 15-30 minutes after the tournament has begun. Regular tournaments will receive one hour extra, with special tournaments (Sunday $200k GP and the iPoker Online Poker Series) allowing players to enter two hours after it has started.
The network will also introduce Knock-Out Jackpot tournaments and Sit’and’Go’s. From the total buy-in, approximately 16-19% will be used as a “knockout fee”, won by opponents who eliminate others from the games. Buy-ins range from $2 to $60 for MTT’s and from $1.50 to $200 for SNG’s.
Finally, cash games are to be given alterations. All network and private games are to change from 10-and-8 players, to 9-player tables on March 5th. However, skins are given the option to exclude themselves from this feature for their private games. Also, the sit-out times to each cash-game table will be reduced from fifteen minutes down to seven before a player is removed, to aid in keeping the games full.
It’s a sign of iPoker’s intent to keeping their poker economy healthy, while at the same time providing a better gaming experience. It caters to all audiences, with recreational players finding new formats entertaining and with serious players finding cash games to be more active at periods where player count is low. All players will also benefit from the opportunities to enter tournaments if they cannot play at the starting time or if they feel they play better at later blind levels.
It continues an ongoing trend for sites to look for alternative methods on increasing revenue that does not involve just increasing the rake taken. A short while ago PokerUpdate reported on a sit-out protest on Pokerstars that forced the site to hold a meeting with representatives of the players, to discuss a compromise to a new rake attribution system they wished to implement.